Latest Hugo Chavez News

  • Venezuela parliament leader squeezes media bosses over drugs story
    Venezuela parliament leader squeezes media bosses over drugs story Thu, May 14, 2015

    By Alexandra Ulmer CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's powerful parliament head Diosdado Cabello has sought a travel ban on some media bosses he is suing for slander over reproducing a story from a Spanish newspaper accusing him of running a drug ring. Cabello sued opposition-leaning newspapers El Nacional and Tal Cual and website La Patilla for picking up an article by Spanish newspaper ABC alleging his former security chief had fled to the United Sates with evidence the Socialist Party's No. 2 controlled a military-run drug cartel. Opposition leaders and U.S. officials have for years made accusations of money-laundering and drug-trafficking against the governments of President Nicolas Maduro and predecessor Hugo Chavez. More »

  • Venezuela parliamentary elections to be held in fourth quarter
    Venezuela parliamentary elections to be held in fourth quarter Sun, May 10, 2015

    By Eyanir Chinea CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela will hold parliamentary elections in the last quarter of this year and the exact date will be announced soon, the head of the National Electoral Council (CNE) said on Sunday. Socialist president Nicolas Maduro is under growing pressure over the 2015 elections, especially after leftist ally and regional heavyweight Brazil on Thursday urged its neighbour to set a date. We're going to announce it very soon," Tibisay Lucena said in an interview with the Televen television channel. Luis Emilio Rondon, a CNE official, said on Friday the elections will be held at the end of November or the beginning of December. More »

  • Venezuela's dissenting socialists deepen rift with Maduro
    Venezuela's dissenting socialists deepen rift with Maduro Fri, May 8, 2015

    By Alexandra Ulmer CARACAS (Reuters) - A dissenting faction of Venezuela's Socialist Party is seeking to put forward its own candidates in this year's parliamentary election, deepening a rift with President Nicolas Maduro's unpopular administration. Marea Socialista, or "Socialist Tide", a small group of leftist intellectuals, has accuses Maduro's government of spawning corruption and bureaucracy and betraying the legacy of the late Hugo Chavez. Officials have ignored or attacked these criticisms, Marea Socialista says, further alienating the fringe group ahead of the election, for which the government has not set a date. "We don't identify with the current behaviour of the Socialist Party," said Nicmer Evans, a leader and spokesman for the group. More »

  • Brazil increases pressure on Venezuela to set election date
    Brazil increases pressure on Venezuela to set election date Fri, May 8, 2015

    Brazil urged Venezuela's government on Thursday to set a date for a parliamentary election as soon as possible, stepping up pressure on its leftist ally and neighbour to resolve a simmering political crisis. Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira said he met with Venezuelan government officials this week and told them a date must be set quickly for the National Assembly election that is meant to be held before the end of the year. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's opponents see the parliamentary election as a chance to capitalise on widespread discontent over a deepening economic crisis and advance towards ending more than 15 years of socialist rule. Surveys show Venezuela's opposition leading in projections of voters' intentions and Maduro's popularity has slipped since he took office two years ago after the death of Hugo Chavez. More »

  • 'Cuban 5' spies in Venezuela to pay tribute to Chavez
    'Cuban 5' spies in Venezuela to pay tribute to Chavez Mon, May 4, 2015

    The Cuban spies whose release by the United States helped pave the way for its thaw with Cuba traveled to Venezuela Monday to pay tribute to late leftist firebrand Hugo Chavez. More »

  • Spanish rebel party Podemos seeks second wind
    Spanish rebel party Podemos seeks second wind Sun, May 3, 2015

    Spain's anti-austerity party Podemos, whose meteoric rise has upended the country's politics, is seeking a second wind as an internal crisis over strategy hits and polls show its popularity may have peaked. More »

  • Venezuela to nationalize food distribution
    Venezuela to nationalize food distribution Sat, May 2, 2015

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has promised to nationalize food distribution in the South American nation beset with record shortages of basic goods, runaway inflation and an escalating economic crisis. More »

  • Podemos co-founder resigns in Spanish rebel party's first crisis
    Podemos co-founder resigns in Spanish rebel party's first crisis Fri, May 1, 2015

    One of the founders of Spain's anti-austerity Podemos party unexpectedly resigned, plunging the poll-topping upstart into its first major crisis ahead of key elections this year. More »

  • Venezuela's reserves fall to 12-year low
    Venezuela's reserves fall to 12-year low Wed, Apr 29, 2015

    Venezuela said Wednesday its foreign exchange reserves have fallen 14 percent since the beginning of the year, to $18.99 billion, their lowest level in almost 12 years More »

  • Venezuela state oil firm's earnings fall 4.3% in 2014
    Venezuela state oil firm's earnings fall 4.3% in 2014 Mon, Apr 27, 2015

    An oil platform by Venezuela's state-owned oil company PDVSA, in Orinoco, Venezuela, on July 28, 2011 More »

  • Jailed opposition mayor may be granted home arrest in Venezuela
    Jailed opposition mayor may be granted home arrest in Venezuela Sat, Apr 25, 2015

    Venezuelan authorities requested on Friday that jailed opposition mayor Antonio Ledezma be granted home arrest due to medical problems, a move that could soften international pressure over his case. Ledezma, 59, a lawyer and hardline opposition leader who is mayor of Caracas, was jailed in February, accused of conspiring to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government. He is the highest-profile Maduro foe arrested after fellow opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, detained last year for his role in protests that brought months of violence causing 43 deaths. Many Maduro supporters loathe Ledezma, whom they call "The Vampire." They do not forgive him for supporting a short-lived 2002 coup against former leader Hugo Chavez. More »

  • Woman who hit Venezuela leader with mango rewarded with new home
    Woman who hit Venezuela leader with mango rewarded with new home Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    By Alexandra Ulmer CARACAS (Reuters) - A woman who bashed President Nicolas Maduro on the head with a mango has been promised a new house for her troubles in a surreal tropical tale that has gone viral in Venezuela. "Marleny Olivo had a problem with her house. ... I've approved an apartment for you, Marleny, as part of the 'Grand Venezuelan Housing Mission'," he added, vowing to eat the mango. Venezuela's ever ebullient cybersphere did not miss a beat, with the president's populist gesture drawing admiration and derision, plus plenty of jokes. More »

  • Venezuela receives new $5 billion loan from China
    Venezuela receives new $5 billion loan from China Mon, Apr 20, 2015

    Venezuela has received a new $5 billion (3.35 billion pounds) loan from China, President Nicolas Maduro said, part of an oil-for-loans deal that has become a key source of financing for the cash-strapped OPEC nation that is struggling with low crude prices. Under the arrangement created by late socialist leader Hugo Chavez, China provides funding for development projects and Venezuela repays in shipments of oil and fuel. An official at state oil company PDVSA had told Reuters in March that Venezuela was in talks for two financing deals with China for $5 billion each, one for economic development and the other for oil investment. China has lent Venezuela more than $45 billion since the two countries set up the oil-for-loans agreement. More »

  • Venezuela receives $5 bn funding from China
    Venezuela receives $5 bn funding from China Mon, Apr 20, 2015

    Inflation reached 68.5% in Venezuela in 2014 and many basic goods are in short supply More »

  • Maduro marks two years in power in tough times
    Maduro marks two years in power in tough times Sun, Apr 19, 2015

    Embattled President Nicolas Maduro marks two years in power Sunday with Venezuela's deep pockets pinched hard by plummeting oil prices, Latin America's highest inflation and simmering anger on the streets. More »

  • Uruguayan leftist writer Eduardo Galeano dies at 74
    Uruguayan leftist writer Eduardo Galeano dies at 74 Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano, an icon of the Latin American left who chronicled the region's injustices in a career that spanned decades and crossed genres, died Monday at age 74. More »

  • Uruguayan anti-capitalist writer Eduardo Galeano dies
    Uruguayan anti-capitalist writer Eduardo Galeano dies Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    Eduardo Galeano, a Uruguayan journalist and author who was a leading light in Latin America's anti-capitalist movement, died after a battle with lung cancer on Monday, his publisher said. Galeano was 74. Galeano's writing career spanned half a century, but he is best-known for his seminal 1971 book 'The Open Veins of Latin America' ('Las Venas Abiertas de America Latina'). Crackling with indignant anger, the work describes the colonial-era scramble for Latin America's riches by European powers, followed in the twentieth century by the region's economic dominance by Britain and the United States. More »

  • Defying U.S., Cuba stands by Venezuela on eve of regional summit
    Defying U.S., Cuba stands by Venezuela on eve of regional summit Thu, Apr 9, 2015

    By Nelson Acosta HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuba said on Wednesday it would remain steadfast by Venezuela even as it seeks to improve ties with the United States, criticizing Washington's Venezuela policy before a summit meeting where the U.S. and Cuban leaders will meet face-to-face.     Cuban Vice-President Miguel Diaz-Canel chastised Washington over its decision last month to declare Venezuela a national security threat and order sanctions against seven Venezuelan officials.     "Nobody could think that in a process of re-establishing relations, which we're trying to move forward on with the United States, Cuban support for Venezuela could be made conditional," Diaz-Canel, the heir apparent to Cuban President Raul Castro, told reporters in Havana.     "If they attack Venezuela, they're attacking Cuba. More »

  • Fidel Castro makes first public appearance in 14 months
    Fidel Castro makes first public appearance in 14 months Sat, Apr 4, 2015

    Cuba's former president and revolutionary icon Fidel Castro has made his first public appearance in 14 months, local media reported Saturday. More »

  • Venezuela's anti-Obama signature drive passes 6 million
    Venezuela's anti-Obama signature drive passes 6 million Wed, Apr 1, 2015

    President Nicolas Maduro decreed a new annual "anti-imperialist" day on Tuesday and said a signature drive demanding the repeal of U.S. measures against Venezuela had passed 6 million. In the ideological enemies' worst spat of Maduro's two-year rule, President Barack Obama's government this month declared the OPEC nation a "security threat" and sanctioned seven officials accused of rights abuses and corruption. Maduro, the 52-year-old socialist successor to Hugo Chavez, said the March 9 measures would from 2016 be commemorated in Venezuela with a new "Day of Bolivarian Anti-Imperialism," a reference to independence hero Simon Bolivar. "History will remember you, President Obama, as the one who sought to intimidate a people, but instead arose their nationalist, patriotic and Bolivarian spirit," Maduro said in a weekly TV programme, from the western city of Coro. More »

  • LatAm leftists hold summit in support of Venezuela
    LatAm leftists hold summit in support of Venezuela Tue, Mar 17, 2015

    Leaders from leftist Latin American regional bloc ALBA gathered Tuesday for a summit in Caracas, a show of support for Venezuela in its mounting standoff with the United States. More »

  • Fidel Castro warns Venezuela is ready to confront US on sanctions
    Fidel Castro warns Venezuela is ready to confront US on sanctions Tue, Mar 17, 2015

    Cuba's Fidel Castro warned Tuesday that Venezuela was prepared to confront US "threats and impositions," and said Washington could no longer count on the Venezuelan military to do its bidding. More »

  • Maduro wins Venezuela decree powers in US confrontation
    Maduro wins Venezuela decree powers in US confrontation Sun, Mar 15, 2015

    Venezuelan lawmakers voted Sunday to give socialist President Nicolas Maduro special powers to go it alone in defense and public safety, amid an escalating confrontation with the United States. More »

  • Venezuela's Maduro given decree powers for rest of 2015
    Venezuela's Maduro given decree powers for rest of 2015 Sun, Mar 15, 2015

    By Deisy Buitrago and Andrew Cawthorne CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's parliament granted President Nicolas Maduro decree powers on Sunday for the rest of 2015 in a move he says is to defend the country from U.S. meddling but opponents decry as evidence of autocracy. In a noisy National Assembly session, ruling Socialist Party legislators, who have a majority, applauded the "Enabling Law" as a legitimate response to a U.S. declaration that Venezuela is a security threat and sanctions on seven officials. "They (the United States) want to stick their hands into Venezuela's wealth, just as they have done in other countries," ruling party legislator Tania Diaz said, presenting the "anti-imperialist" Enabling Law to parliament. Outside, red-clad Maduro supporters chanted and held placards proclaiming: "Yankees go home." In their speeches, angry opposition lawmakers said Maduro was cynically exploiting the diplomatic flare-up with Washington to amass powers, justify repression and distract Venezuelans from economic problems including acute shortages. More »

  • Venezuela stages military exercise to counter U.S. 'threat'
    Venezuela stages military exercise to counter U.S. 'threat' Sun, Mar 15, 2015

    By Alexandra Ulmer and Deisy Buitrago CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela on Saturday staged a military exercise to counter an alleged U.S. threat, deploying soldiers and partisans across the country to march, man shoulder-fired missiles and defend an oil refinery from a simulated attack. Socialist President Nicolas Maduro has framed recent U.S. sanctions on seven Venezuelan officials as a bid to topple him, and on Saturday his government mobilized 80,000 soldiers and 20,000 civilians as part of a 10-day military drill. "The United States has declared Venezuela a threat," said General Vladimir Padrino, Venezuela's defence minister. "And that means an imminent danger for us, so we have to use the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB) as part of our constitutional mission to guarantee independence and sovereignty." Opposition leaders labelled the exercise a farce and accused Maduro, increasingly unpopular as a result of an economic crisis, of seeking to distract Venezuelans from long queues for scarce products, sky-high inflation and rampant crime. More »

  • Venezuela gears up military machine amid economic crunch
    Venezuela gears up military machine amid economic crunch Sun, Mar 15, 2015

    Rolling out tanks, missiles and 100,000 men, Venezuela launched 10 days of military exercises, amid sky-high tensions over US sanctions slapped on officials accused of an opposition crackdown. More »

  • What happened to Putin? Satirists run riot online
    What happened to Putin? Satirists run riot online Fri, Mar 13, 2015

    A wave of savage mockery broke over Russian President Vladimir Putin across the Internet on Friday, sparked by days of absence from public view, despite official insistence it was business as usual in the Kremlin. State television footage of Putin working at his residence failed to quell the tide of fantastical theories circulating online that the 62-year-old Kremlin leader had died, been deposed, or travelled to Switzerland to watch his girlfriend give birth. Ukrainian children produced a cartoon showing Putin abducted from the Kremlin by aliens. While hard facts are scarce, there has been speculation of a split between rival Kremlin camps since the killing of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov near Red Square on Feb. 27. More »

  • Insight - Its red shirts fading, Venezuela's oil giant embraces pragmat …
    Insight - Its red shirts fading, Venezuela's oil giant embraces pragmat … Fri, Mar 13, 2015

    By Alexandra Ulmer and Marianna Parraga CARACAS/HOUSTON (Reuters) - A subtle change in office attire may be the most telling symbol of a quiet revolution taking place inside Venezuela's troubled economic engine, giant oil firm PDVSA. For years, PDVSA employees were encouraged to wear red shirts in support of late President Hugo Chavez's socialist movement. Rafael Ramirez, the former oil czar famously vowed the state-owned firm would be "redder than red" and sent workers to state rallies. Over the past few months, however, the company's new management - led by president Eulogio del Pino, a low-profile Stanford-educated engineer - has eased up on revolutionary garb and attendance at militant gatherings, according to sources within and outside the company. More »

  • Venezuela's Maduro says may go to U.S. to challenge Obama
    Venezuela's Maduro says may go to U.S. to challenge Obama Fri, Mar 13, 2015

    By Andrew Cawthorne CARACAS (Reuters) - Ridiculing the U.S. qualification of Venezuela as a security threat, President Nicolas Maduro said on Thursday he may travel to Washington to challenge American counterpart Barack Obama. "We demand, via all global diplomatic channels, that President Obama rectify and repeal the immoral decree declaring Venezuela a threat to the United States," Maduro said. In the worst flare-up between the ideological enemies since Maduro took power in 2013, Washington earlier this week declared a "national emergency" over "the unusual and extraordinary threat" from Venezuela and sanctioned seven officials over allegations of rights abuses and corruption. Conversely, it accuses Washington of helping coup plotters and preparing a military invention. More »

  • Venezuela envoy sorry for joke about bullets striking opponents Fri, Mar 13, 2015

    By Andrew Cawthorne CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's ambassador to the Organization of American States apologised on Thursday for joking how bullets would sound going through "empty" heads of government opponents. "I added a bit of black humour at the end that might have been a mistake," the veteran diplomat and former foreign minister, Roy Chaderton, said of his controversial remarks earlier in the week. The comments came when he was explaining how sniper bullets would not distinguish between "Chavistas" and "squalid ones" - terms coined during the 1999-2013 rule of socialist leader Hugo Chavez to describe government supporters and opponents. In Thursday's radio interview, Chaderton argued that his critics had twisted his comments and missed his point that opponents of President Nicolas Maduro's government would also be at risk if there was a U.S. invasion of Venezuela. More »

  • Venezuelan leader closer to decree powers
    Venezuelan leader closer to decree powers Wed, Mar 11, 2015

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro moved closer Wednesday to ruling by decree after the legislature held a first vote that would allow him to act against "external or internal" threats to peace. More »

  • U.S. sanctions may be godsend for struggling Venezuelan leader Wed, Mar 11, 2015

    By Alexandra Ulmer CARACAS (Reuters) - At the start of the year, a grave-faced President Nicolas Maduro promised "God would provide" after oil prices crashed by half, exacerbating Venezuela's deep recession, chronic shortages and sky-high inflation. 'PLAYING INTO MADURO'S HANDS' Washington's sanctions hand Maduro, whose popularity has slipped to the low 20s according to local pollster Datanalisis, ammunition to back his view of foreign sabotage. More »

  • Venezuela's Maduro seeks decree powers to face U.S. 'imperialism …
    Venezuela's Maduro seeks decree powers to face U.S. 'imperialism … Wed, Mar 11, 2015

    By Andrew Cawthorne CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday asked parliament for decree powers in response to new U.S. sanctions, in a move opposition critics slammed as a power-grab. If as expected the government-controlled National Assembly approves his request for an "Enabling Law", it would be the second time the 52-year-old successor to Hugo Chavez has gained these expanded powers since winning election in 2013. "I've come to ask for an Enabling Law to confront the aggression of the most powerful country in the world, the United States, against this beautiful nation," Maduro told parliament. "This is a law that will prepare our country, may we never be caught off guard." His adversaries say he is using the worst flare-up with Washington during his nearly two-year rule to justify autocratic governance, sidetrack parliament and distract attention from a shrinking economy and chronic product shortages. More »

  • U.S. declares Venezuela a national security threat, sanctions top officials
    U.S. declares Venezuela a national security threat, sanctions top officials Tue, Mar 10, 2015

    By Jeff Mason and Roberta Rampton WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States declared Venezuela a national security threat on Monday and ordered sanctions against seven officials from the oil-rich country in the worst bilateral diplomatic dispute since socialist President Nicolas Maduro took office in 2013. U.S. President Barack Obama signed and issued the executive order, which senior administration officials said did not target Venezuela's energy sector or broader economy. More »

  • Obama orders deeper Venezuela sanctions over abuses
    Obama orders deeper Venezuela sanctions over abuses Mon, Mar 9, 2015

    US President Barack Obama ordered new sanctions Monday against senior Venezuelan officials involved in cracking down on the opposition. More »